, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 21 – An ad hoc Parliamentary Committee formed to investigate the perennial problems of unlawful gangs has recommended the formation of a highly trained special police unit to deal with the gangs.
In its report tabled on Wednesday morning, the Committee noted that the gangs are usually highly trained and need a different security approach from the normal crimes.
The report further recommended the establishment of a special branch in the National Intelligence Security Service to further boost the fight against organised crime.
“The Committee recommends that the police/citizen ratio be enhanced to the internationally accepted standards of 1:450. Security agents should also collaborate closely with the community,” said the report.
The Committee wants the government to expand the National Youth Service and reintroduce Approved Schools in rehabilitation centers to accommodate reformed members from these groups.
“The Criminal Procedure Code should be amended to enhance sentences and enable the courts to send the youth to rehabilitation centers,” said the report.
It further recommends the expansion of prisons to enable the segregation of those associated with the gangs from others to avoid continued recruitment in the cells.
The Committee has identified high rates of unemployment, political patronage, security lapses and the lack of basic facilities in residential areas as the main reasons why youth join the dreaded groups in the country.
It proposes a multipronged approach to deal with the problem including involving security organs, politicians, community leaders, religious leaders and the education systems.
As a short term solution to the unemployment, the team wants programs such as the Kazi kwa Vijana and Food for Work be enhanced.
Other key recommendations include the fast tracking of the National Integrated Transport Policy to streamline the transport industry, a call for politicians to positively influence the youth and the review of the curriculum to incorporate social values in the education system.
The team has identified 14 illegal gangs operaing in the country including Mungiki, Jeshi la Embakasi, Sungusungu, Chinkororo, Kosovo Boys, Baghdad Boys, Taliban among others.
“Politicians should use public forums to dissuade the youth from joining the organised groups and educate them on the dangers of such groups,” affirms the report.
The Committee was formed two years ago to study the operations of the groups and make recommendations. The report has also called for the passage of the Prevention of Organised Crime Bill, the Anti Money Laundering Bill and the Terrorism Bill.
The House has already passed the first two Bills but the third was rejected.